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SHENZHEN, April 20, Xinhua -- Chinese tech giant Tencent has formed a strategic partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to promote ecological conservation in the Greater Bay Area and the rest of China.

The two sides will explore a digitally-driven approach to make the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area a "beautiful Bay Area" as a first step in broader efforts to build a "Beautiful China," according to the signed memorandum of understanding.

"We have entered a new age where digital technology is unleashing its immense potential in pushing forward the international motion of sustainable development," said Leon Guo, Senior Vice President of Tencent Group and Chairman of Tencent Foundation.

Marco Lambertini, director general of the WWF, said they would accelerate the extensive applications of digital technologies in the ecological conservation domain, and strive to create a "China paradigm" by leveraging the country's rich culture of experimentation and its highly dynamic ecosystem.

Tencent and the WWF will commence the partnership with a series of digital-based ecological conservation projects in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. The initial phase of the collaboration will focus on igniting public awareness of ecological conservation, nurturing conservation talent and combating Internet-based illegal wildlife trade.

Meanwhile, the two parties will work on modernizing the study of species diversity by upgrading the traditional data collection methods of pens, paper and telescopes, to a digital database system using Tencent's platform to analyze and manage data on species to formulate the most suitable protection plan.

Tencent has always prioritized ecological conservation as crucial. At the 2018 China "Internet+" Digital Economy Summit held earlier this month, Tencent Chairman and CEO Pony Ma highlighted ecological conservation as one of the five key pillars of the company's "Internet+" model.

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